We’ve all heard of the ‘two wave hold down’, but never thought they actually existed, I thought of it more as a myth or an old wives tale. Brad Hughes isn’t one to shy away from riding giants, but after we heard about his beating at The Right, we thought we best ask him what happened and whether it will stop him from taking on these monstrous curlers.
Tique – Has it ever happened to you before and when you dropped into the wave could you see you were going to get pounded like yesterday beef? I had a really bad hold down the last time I surfed the place it wasn’t for 2 waves, but I went much deeper and burst my ears and nose. When I decided to take off I thought I was in a really good spot, I just focus on getting to the bottom and being in control, but big waves are hard to read and once you have committed there is no turning back. I knew there was a good chance I wasn’t going to make it so I just tried to get as far to the end of the wave as possible and get a breath in.
Tique -How’s did it feel when you were under? Did it all happening super quick or did it feel like you were down for weeks? I was relaxed at the start after going deep into the blackness the pressure and time under starts to weigh on your mind and your body just wants air. My board was below me stuck in a crazy current I couldn’t start making my way up, it was pulling me so hard I couldn’t get my leash off. I started to wonder if I was swimming the right way. It released a little and I started to make my way up. By the time the second wave came over I was nearing the top, my legs were numb and had to keep my mouth from opening up and letting water in.
Tique – Did you see you light? The only light I saw was after the 2nd wave passed when I was right near the surface I could see the light and I was just thinking hold on almost there.
Tique – so you saw no light at the end of the tunnel, no Jesus?
They saying drowning is a nice way to go but it’s not relaxing or tranquil it’s a crazy struggle survival mode takes over I don’t think you would give up you would just pass out trying to make it up.
Tique – Is there any way you can prepare for a beating like this or tell the kids what to expect if ever happens to them?I’ve been doing a fare bit of training lately, swimming and so on, but it’s hard to prepare for the pressure and stress your body goes through in those situations.
Tique – Is there a secret to riding waves of that size or is to hold on for dear life? I think frame of mind, skill and experience all help. I think it’s possible to ride really big waves and ride them well, it just takes time cos rather than getting 50 odd good sessions a year you might only get 2 so it’s a slow learning curve.
Tique – So, do you reckon this will stop you from riding big waves for a while then? The last 2 waves I’ve had out there I’ve almost drowned, it does make you wonder weather you got off lightly or if it was worst case sine rio. I’ve had some of the best waves of my life there so I’m not sure weather I’m prepared to give that up yet. Hopefully 3 rd time lucky
The wave that did it.
Frame grab Chris White from Slicks and Decks.